Skanka and Atkins win new look HA contract

A Skanska-Atkins joint venture has scooped the first of the new generation of cost-cutting highways asset support contracts.

The job is worth up to £80m a year over the 5-year term and will cover maintenance of motorways and major ‘A’ roads in the south west

Skanska and Atkins’ job will go live in July and replace the old area two managing agent contractor arrangement held by Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald, which also keenly contested the bidding for the first ASC.

The new contracts are being rolled out with the aim of delivering substantial maintenance savings and replacing
existing MACs across the country.

The Highways Agency is due to award the second ASC – for roads covering parts of the North West – later this year, with all of the agency’s maintenance work moving to the new-style contracts by 2015.

In the meantime, the agency is aiming to ‘retrofit’ fresh cost-saving approaches to existing contracts.

New Cash Saving Approach:

  • maintenance standards become ‘outcome based’ and less prescriptive about how and when work is delivered
  • affordable levels of service, with appropriate quality but no reward for over-delivery
  • incentives for innovation and efficiency, including the opportunity for contract extensions
  • simplified pricing mechanisms with a schedule of rates and ‘year on year’ cost reduction mechanism
  • a higher cost threshold for works, to allow more procurement through the ASCs rather than by separate tender
  • managing technology maintenance and improvement works through the main contract, for more efficient and joined up delivery.

Derek Turner, the agency’s network development and delivery director said: “I believe that these new contracts deliver the best possible value for money without compromising safety.

“This is because we are selecting only the most capable and best performing suppliers through competitive, effective and timely commercial procurement.

He said: “The contracts may have changed, but our essential requirements remain the same – a safe and well maintained road network.

“Contractors will retain their incident support capability, but will be better able to deploy their staff more flexibly.”

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